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The Fundamental Truth That Leonardo Knew About Learning

Learning to Fly
Sometimes we need to drop the books

“True understanding only comes from experience.”

That is one of the most famous quotes by the universal genius and probably brightest mind of human history, Leonardo da Vinci.

What does this tell us about learning? It tell us that we cannot learn how to do something, that is, learning a skill, from reading a book:

  • You cannot learn to fly a plane by reading a book

  • You cannot learn to play the piano by reading a book

  • You cannot learn to swim by reading a book

  • You cannot learn to speak English by hitting the books

Yet the whole IELTS industry is built on book sales.

Go into any bookstore and look at the IELTS section, there are hundreds to choose from. And, they profess to “teach” you speaking.

They don’t.

Don’t be fooled by the marketing of the giant publishers like Pearson and Oxford.

The way to get good at English is to speak it with human beings, every day if possible. The improvement you experience won’t happen overnight, but it is for sure and it is meaningful, lasting improvement. Development through speaking as the primary channel, will pull up your reading, writing and listening, all together.

This is why the IELTS is such a difficult exam. Students simply don’t have chances to speak the language.

Language learning is a skill. It is not a knowledge subject like history, physics and to a large extent, maths. Language is more like sports, drama and most closely, music. Note that when you learn music you don’t typically have an all-or-nothing high-stakes end of term exam. Instead, every class in effect a test. Frequent informal testing with direct and relevant feedback to fuel improvement is the way to learn a skill.

Why isn’t English taught in this natural way? Because of the lack of teachers capable and confident enough in English. Because schools have always taught language as a knowledge subject because when you teach it as a knowledge you can cram dozens of kids in the same room. Ultimately it’s a question of resources.

Well we at BiAn know the way. We do learning the right way and we don’t mind being different in the market, because we know that: true understanding only comes from experience and skill in the language only comes from actually doing it. We believe in using language the way it is supposed to be used, not learning in an abstract way. Learning through BiAn is direct.

When you follow this thinking, when you dare to be different in your study, you reap the rewards.

Within language competency, speaking is the skill that supports all the other skills: reading, writing and listening. The corollary being: within speaking competency, fluency is the skill that supports all the other skills: grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation.

You achieve spoken fluency by practicing with a teacher. So try it today.

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